If you’re looking for a unique, gorgeous celebration of pregnancy complete with a relaxing experience and stunning flowers, a milk bath just might be the perfect option for you! There are so many ways to personalize the experience for photos and memories that you’ll love forever.
Even better, when my clients opt for a maternity milk bath session, I also include traditional couples and mama-only photos just before the bath, so you get the best of both kinds of sessions.
How to prepare for a maternity milk bath photo session
Step one: location
First, we’ll decide on a location for your maternity milk bath photo session. I recommend renting space a local photography studio that has a stunning clawfoot tub, along with space for traditional couples and mama-only portraits beforehand. This is often the simplest option for you; all you have to do is show up at the studio with your spouse or child and your wardrobe. I will bring everything you need for amazing photos, including the milk products and florals.
I photograph often at this particular studio and my clients always comment on how beautiful and easy it is to meet there for your photo session.
If you prefer, we can schedule the milk bath session in your home. This tends to work best if you have a large window in your bathroom for natural light. You need a deep tub and a bathroom big enough for me and a stepladder so I can take photos from above, if you’d rather have the maternity milk bath session done at your home.
Step two: wardrobe
You have lots of options for what to wear in a milk bath – but the golden rule is to stick with neutral shades so that we can keep the focus on your bump and your pretty face!
The most popular choice is some kind of sheer lace gown. Most mamas pair it with nude undergarments, but you can also opt for pasties in place of a bra or go completely nude underneath.
You can also wear a cute bodysuit or swimsuit/bikini, as well as a matching bra and panty set.
I always advise mamas to think about the floral colors you prefer when you’re thinking about what to wear in the milk bath. An ivory or light tan will look absolutely stunning on you, when you’re surrounded by a milky bath and flowers!
Step three: select your floral color scheme
For every maternity milk bath photo session, I like to include white flowers and greenery, in addition to whatever colors you request. We start the milk bath with you in the tub, surrounded by the greenery, baby’s breath and some kind of white/ivory bloom. By starting out with a super neutral color palatte, you’ll have even more variety in your photo gallery, before we add in colorful blooms! I love to work in eucalyptus, but if it’s not in season, we’ll use whatever greenery is available. I use local floralists who typically offer a wide selection of colors.
Beyond the color scheme, I love to add more visual interest by varying the size of bloom we use in your maternity milk bath. Bigger flowers like hydrangeas, roses, peonies and sunflowers add a lot of pop, and smaller flowers on long stems, like a gladiolus, look beautiful without removing the buds from the stem.
Step four: schedule hair and makeup!
This is such a glam way to capture pregnancy, whether it’s just you or you with your young child, toddler or baby! You definitely want to look and feel your absolute best – and that means spoiling yourself with professional hair and makeup!
Lots of mamas-to-be don’t realize that you can actually photograph a little on the pale side while pregnant during your maternity photo session, especially if you don’t wear much makeup. Let’s face it – your body is doing a lot of work to support you and your pregnancy, and most sessions are scheduled for the end of the day, when you’re naturally more tired.
Plus, you’re moving around a little more in a short period of time during your maternity photo session, which can be taxing and cause mamas to look a little pale. That’s why professional makeup is such a good idea – your makeup artist will ensure you look flawless, even if pregnancy feels tiring by the end of the day.
What’s happening behind-the-scenes before your maternity milk bath photo session
I send every client a pre-session questionnaire before every session so I can tailor the experience to you and your family. For a maternity milk bath session, I send a second questionnaire to ensure there are no dairy/floral allergies to worry about, and so I know what color scheme you have in mind.
If you have a dairy allergy or prefer a non-dairy option, we can discuss milks that fit your needs. I typically use evaporated milk for milk bath photos because it’s ultra thick and opaque, which is the look we want for the bath, and it’s easy to transport. Also, evaporated milk is already at room temperature, which makes it simple to draw the bath water at a temp that will be comfortable for you without cooling it too much by adding refrigerated milk.
Once you share your floral color scheme with me, I purchase the flowers 1-2 days before your session. I do my very best to stick with the color scheme you request, and I’ll let you know if the colors you prefer aren’t in season! The majority of the time, I can find exactly what clients want, so there’s no reason to stress much on floral colors.
A workflow of a maternity milk bath session
If we’re working together at the studio, we’ll have a total of 50 minutes of shooting time; I typically photograph the traditional portion for 20-25 minutes. I’ll photograph you and your spouse or child, and also just you and your bump. Then, you’ll change into wardrobe for the milk bath!
To ensure a smooth, relaxing experience for you and your family, I’ll bring an assistant with me on the day of your maternity milk bath photos. While you and I are working together on the couples/mama-only/mama-child portion of the session, my assistant will draw a bath and add in the milk so it’s perfectly ready for you when it’s time.
I’ll provide gentle posing direction to adjust how your hands are placed on your bump and how you’re positioned in the tub, as well as where you’re looking and if you are smiling, but you won’t be moving around much!
We add in the florals after you’re in the tub as they tend to sink if there is a lot of movement in the water. If you’d like be photographed with your child, toddler or baby, I’ll work with just you first and add them in for the last few moments! If there is time, I can photograph a toddler/child who can sit independently in the tub alone while you change into clothes for the drive home.
After your maternity milk bath photo session
The only thing you need to know for after your milk bath is I suggest taking a quick shower when you get home to rinse off the milk! I’ll edit your photos and deliver your sneak peek and full gallery – and you’ll choose your most favorite photos of the most beautiful maternity session ever!